Black Christmas



               Filthy Billy, I know what you did nasty Billy!


The film opens at a sorority house during a christmas party, as an unknown man walks towards the house, and climbs up and through the open attic window. The viewer is introduced to the sorority girls, the main ones being Jess Bradford, Barb Coard and Phyllis Carlson. The prowler heads outside of the attic into the house and creeps around upstairs - yet the viewer does not see his face. The girls get a phone call from someone they call "The Moaner". The call starts out sexual in nature, but it grows more macabre and menacing, with the male on the other end saying strange things in different voices. The shyest sorority girl, Clare Harrison, goes upstairs to pack as she is due to meet her father; however as she does she hears what she thinks is the house cat in her closet. Going in to investigate, the Killer dives out and wraps a plastic bag around her head, asohixiating her. Downstairs the sorority give their present to Mrs. Mac, the house mother. With all of the commotion no one hears Clare screaming. Later that night, Jess knocks on Clare's door, and nobody answers. The now-dead Clare is seen in the attic on a rocking chair with the plastic bag wrapped around her head, while the Killer is singing....

The next day, Clare's father arrives to pick her up, but she isn't there. Nobody has seen her since the night before. Meanwhile Jess talks to her boyfriend Peter after discovering she is pregnant and they discuss whether or not they should become parents. Peter suggests they get married, but Jess tells him she doesn't want to marry him, or have the baby. Jess, at the house, gets another obscene phone call from the Killer. The sorority girls then visit the local Police station to report that Clare is nowhere to be found. Peter, obviously distraught from his earlier conversation with Jess, fails at playing an important piano recital before judges. Later he is shown in the room smashing the piano.

Back at the house, Mrs. Mac gets ready to leave, but hears the cat Claude meowing from somewhere in the attic. Mrs. Mac peers into the attic and sees Clare dead and the Killer holding a crane hook directly in front of her. The hook hits her in the face, killing her, and the faceless killer pulls her up into the attic. The sorority girls, still outside, are assisting along with Clare's father and other townsfolk in a hunt for a missing school girl who is found dead, murdered by an unknown assailant. Jess, returning to the house, gets another obscene phone call from the Killer. After the call, she meets Peter who wants to talk to her about the baby. She tells him she has decided to get an abortion. Peter begins to behave strangely and becomes emotionally distraught. A police officer is outside keeping an eye on the house, and Peter stays outside behind a tree looking at the house.

Barb, having drunk far too much, heads to bed and the Killer leaves the attic. As Jess and Phyllis listen to carol singers outside, the Killer grabs a glass unicorn and stabs Barb repeatedly, with her screams being drowned out by the singing. Phyllis checks on Barb and, as she enters the room, the killer closes the door and murders her.

Jess gets another obscene phone call. After that, the police call her and tell her that the calls are coming from the inside of the house and that she has to get out. She arms herself with a fireplace poker and goes upstairs to get Barb and Phyllis. Upstairs she opens the door to Barb's room and sees their dead bodies. She sees the Killer's eye behind the door, closes it on him and runs to the front door of the house which is locked. She gets chased by the Killer with a notable shot of the Killer grabbing Jess' hair. She manages to escape and hides in the basement. She then sees Peter who breaks through the basement window. Jess now believes that Peter is the killer. He slowly approaches, asking if she is okay while she grips the fireplace poker. Outside, the police arrive and hear a loud scream. When they enter the basement, Jess is seen alive and stunned with a bloodied Peter laying against her. Jess has killed Peter with the fireplace poker.

Jess is sedated and left in a bed upstairs. The police, confident the Killer was Peter, leave the house as Clare's father faints from the enormity of the situation (and the fact that Clare has still not been found). As Jess sleeps alone, the camera pans slowly down the hall and upstairs to the trapdoor of the attic, where we see it open slightly. Inside the attic, the two bodies of Mrs. Mac and Clare remain undiscovered. We discover the Killer is still alive, and is not Peter, and he says "Agnes, it's me, Billy." There is an abrupt cut to the outside of the house, where a lone police officer stands guard on the front porch. The camera pans back and we see Clare, whose face is covered in plastic, sitting in a rocking chair right in front of the attic window. The sound of the trapdoor opening and footsteps down the attic ladder are heard. As the credits roll, the phone begins to ring.....








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Directed by Bob Clark
Produced by Bob Clark
Written by Roy Moore
Starring Olivia Hussey
Keir Dullea
Margot Kidder
John Saxon
Marian Waldman
Andrea Martin
Music by Carl Zittrer
Distributed by Critical Mass, Inc.
Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 20, 1974
Running time 98 min.
Language English
Budget $620,000